How To Do Everything Right And Still Be A Complete And Utter Failure (Or Why You Should Always Tell People You Probably Suck)
[One of the blogs I read regularly is Fraser Kelton's Disruptive Thoughts. I convinced him to write a special post for the readers of this blog. What he has written was really beyond my expectations 🙂 Enjoy it!]
We’re increasingly becoming a society driven by expectations – our level of enjoyment has increasingly less to do with the overall experience and increasingly more to do with the fulfillment of our expectations.
Let me explain.
I dine out a lot (guiltily, I can go months without cooking a meal) and a major factor in my enjoyment of the meal has to do with how the restaurant handles my wait time expectation.
I’m happier when they tell me the wait is 40 and they seat me in 30 than when they tell me it’s 10 and they seat me in 20.
How they handle my expectation has a real impact on how much I enjoy my meal.
What does my bizarre eating habit have to do with new media?
Understanding the changing role of expectations is crucial to successfully commercialize new media.
A few failings: i. Web 2.0 Many have discussed the problems with Ning: It didn’t down-geek to become accessible by David’s grandmother – the service was too complicated for anyone but geeks to use. That was only part of the problem.
Expectation-pop. [it does appear that they're working hard to set proper expectations!!]
A few failings: ii. Music The Arctic Monkeys exploded in the UK. But they haven't been having tremendous success in the States. I love the band. The album is my favourite of 2006. I have no problem understanding why they are so popular in the UK.
I can also (begin to) understand why they haven't had a similar explosion in the US.
The band was introduced to the UK through the sharing of a few demos on the internet. The audience created their own expectation: from nothing; to rabid; to full boil.
Compare that to how the band was introduced to the US:
- Rolling Stone, The Washington Post, and many others, made sure that everyone knew they had fastest-selling debut in British history
- The BBC had some guy telling us that "in terms of sheer impact… we haven't seen anything quite like this since The Beatles"
- NME named the album the 5th best British album ever.
Expectations in the US were immediately a full boil. What happens? Expectation-pop.
Build Unmanaged Buzz & Die.
Some will say that expectations only matter in the short-term – that eventually the restaurant with the better food will win my heart; that web services of value will grow their user base; that fans of good music will return to good music.
The problem is that, while in our always-on world it's easy to get a first look, it's hard to change a first impression.
As our attention becomes increasingly scarce, the amount of time given to a first look sharply decreases. And when our first looks are given less time our first impressions are increasingly shaped by, yep, expectations.
Here's the problem: While traditional marketing calls for building as much buzz as possible when commercializing a product, unmanaged buzz creates unreasonable expectations.
Unreasonable expectations are such because they can never be met. And unmet expectations generate an expectation-pop.
You've done everything right, and the result is a long-term wrong.
New media marketing is about managing expectations and this becomes increasingly true as our attention becomes increasingly scarce.
Expectation is the root of all heartache. – William ShakespeareExplore posts in the same categories: advertising, blogger, Blogroll, Fraser Kelton, hype, marketing, music, new media, research, smart, technology, writers